Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ON THE DEATH OF SIR HENRY WOOTTON, by ABRAHAM COWLEY



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ON THE DEATH OF SIR HENRY WOOTTON, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: What shall we say, since silent now is he
Last Line: He dyed, lest he should idle grow at last.
Subject(s): Wotton, Sir Henry (1568-1639)


WHat shall we say, since silent now is He,
Who when he Spoke, all things would Silent be?
Who had so many Languages in store,
That onely Fame shall speak of him in More!
Whom England now no more return'd must see;
He's gone to Heaven on his Fourth Ambassie.
On earth he travell'd often; not to say
H'ad been abroad, or passte loose Time away.
In whatsoever Land he chanc'd to come,
He read the Men and Manners, bringing home
Their Wisdom, Learning and their Pietie,
As if he went to Conquer, not to See.
So well he understood the most and best
Of Tongues that Babel sent into the West,
Spoke them so truly, that he had (you'd swear)
Not only Lived, but been Born ev'ry where.
Justly each Nation's Speech to him was known,
Who for the World was made, not us alone.
Nor ought the Language of that Man be less
Who in his Breast had all things to express.
We say that Learning's endless, and blame Fate
For not allowing Life a longer Date.
He did the utmost Bounds of Knowledge finde,
He found them not so large as was his Minde.
But, like the brave Pellaean Youth, did mone
Because that Art had no more worlds than One.
And when he saw that he through all had past,
He dyed, lest he should Idle grow at last.





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